Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car has a rough idle and water leaking from the tailpipe - 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser

asked by on

213k miles. Experiencing rough idle (needle steady but big vibration in every gear/felt at every stop), water steadily running out of tailpipe, and a little bit of white smoke out tailpipe, though it doesn't smell sweet, just like gas. First noticed the latter when I had it backed up to garage and within a minute the smell was so strong in there I had to move it.

Additionally, water is dripping from exhaust underneath car, with bit of smoke/steam leaking around boot.

-No milky substance in radiator or oil. -The coolant reservoir was low, but I just bought this and was the first time I had checked it. The radiator was still full of coolant. -Spark plugs don't look that bad. No gunk/build-up. No signs of any coolant anywhere. Changing them today though. -Cleaned the MAF -Cleaned the throttle body. -CEL came on but after battery disconnect, hasn't come back

Seems responsive and drives fine, but noticeablly struggles to maintain speed on long uphill grade. 55mph but have it floored.

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. If the smoke is slightly white, it could be burning the fuel too cold. This is an issue with a cylinder misfiring and causing raw fuel to enter the exhaust pipe. Check all of the cylinders for air, spark, and fuel. Make sure that all of the spark plugs are having a solid blue spark and that there are no burn spots on them. Check all of the injectors by unplugging one at a time from the harness to see if the engine idles even rougher.

If it does, then that injector was working. If it does not, then it is a possibility that the injector was not working. If everything checks out to be good, then you would need to do a compression test to see if there is a cylinder that has a low compression. This can be caused by a burned valve, a bent valve, burned or stuck rings, or a burned head gasket.

If you need further assistance diagnosing your engine, then seek out a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can come to your location to inspect the rough idle issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My car has a rough idle and water leaking from the tailpipe - 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: White smoke coming from tailpipe

Hi! The white smoke is a sign that the engines head gasket has blown and is leaking coolant into the combustion chamber. The coolant leaked into the hot combustion chamber then burns off in the form of white smoke exiting...

Q: My brakes.

The noise may be from the material in the pads and the rotors getting a small amount of rust overnight and is wearing off after a few stops in the morning. This is common and not much can be done...

Q: Small fluid leak in front after car is shut off and sits,temperature gauge rising.

You should have the cooling system pressure and leak checked to locate the leak in the cooling system and also check to see why your engine ran hotter than normal. This overheating inspection will locate the leak and then a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...